LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. — It's been one year since two Lakewood Ranch teens were killed in a crash on their way to Homecoming. Now, one of the boys will be remembered at the baseball field he grew up playing on.
- Matthew Powers, 15, and Chase Coyner, 17, killed in 2018 crash
- County commissioners agreed to rename Field 1 at Lakewood Ranch Park in Powers' honor
- Lakewood Ranch High School to honor Coyner by naming photo studio after him
- More Manatee County stories
Field 1 at Lakewood Ranch Park was where Dan Powers watched his son, Matthew, play in championship games. It was the field where he attended countless opening days.
It was the field that Matthew spent two nights per week practicing, and then another two nights per week running the bases during his Little League games.
On Tuesday, Manatee County Commissioners agreed to rename that field Matthew Ryan Powers Memorial Field.
"It's the legacy that he wasn't able to secure for himself," Dan said. "I wish he were here with us, I wish they never had to name this field after anybody, but things happen that we don't have control of."
Matthew Powers, 15, and Chase Coyner, 17, were driving to a school event last September when they were involved in a fatal crash on State Road 64 by Grayhawk Landing.
A green cross affixed with photos, flowers, and their names still sits at the place where their car came to rest by Pope Road.
Those who live nearby have voiced their concerns about the intersection to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for years. Manatee County and FDOT are now working together to move up construction of a roundabout at the intersection.
The project was initially scheduled to begin in 2023, but now is slated to begin as early as spring 2020.
As Matthew's family prepares to hit the one year anniversary of his death on Sunday, they were honored to hear the news that the teen's childhood field would keep his name living on for generations of baseball players to come.
"He had that spark that brought the team together and other kids gravitated towards him because of that. He had heart," Dan said.
Signs should be going up at the field early next year. A dedication ceremony for Matthew Ryan Powers Memorial Field will be held at the beginning of baseball season next spring.
Lakewood Ranch High School plans to honor Chase Coyner by naming a studio after him. The teen had a passion for photography.